• Entertainment

The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History

List RulesEldest child characters in families of at least 3 from TV series

In the TV family hierarchy, the eldest child of the family bears a heavy burden on his or her shoulders. Whether a reluctant role model (Denise Huxtable, The Cosby Show) or the next King of the North (Robb Stark, Game of Thrones), the greatest oldest children in TV history have some essential qualities in common.

The best oldest children in TV history have a rebellious streak. As older brothers and sisters, the first child of the family has a responsibility to his or her siblings to push their parents’ limits to the breaking point. (Even Matt Camden (7th Heaven) sent his parents into fits when he eloped.) When their rebellion backfires – a là Greg Brady (The Brady Bunch) unsuccessfully hiding the school mascot in the attic – they sometimes find their parents will work with them instead of against them.

Of course the greatest oldest children have to cope with darker matter, as well. Protecting one’s mother from his father, the drug kingpin (Walter White, Jr., Breaking Bad), battling an addiction to uppers (Alex P. Keaton, Family Ties), and being Don and Betty Draper’s daughter (Sally Draper, Mad Men), are just a few of the difficult chores these firstborn have had to face.

Finally, the greatest oldest children in TV history – or, many of them – must leave the nest first, creating tearful goodbyes as well as awkward plot devices. Though Modern Family’s Haley Dunphy getting kicked out of college seemed perfectly plausible, other eldest children either saw their screen time evaporate (Haddie Braverman, Parenthood), or simply refused to age at all (Bart Simpson, The Simpsons).
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  • 1
    168
    85
    Family Ties
  • 2
    123
    77

    Richie Cunningham

    Happy Days
  • 3
    134
    96

    D.J. Tanner

    Full House, Guest Star Day
  • 4
    167
    53
    ghost00 addedSupernatural, Supernatural The Animation
  • 5
    98
    61

    Mary Ingalls

    Little House on the Prairie
  • 6
    127
    94
    The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show
  • 7
    95
    65

    Eric Matthews

    Girl Meets World, Boy Meets World
  • 8
    102
    78

    Marcia Brady

    The Brady Bunch, The Brady Kids
  • 9
    86
    72

    Mike Seaver

    Growing Pains
  • 10
    95
    71

    Greg Brady

    The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch Hour
  • 11
    90
    79

    John-boy Walton

    The Waltons
  • 12
    88
    77
    SlashLover added

    Piper Halliwell

    Leo, Charmed
  • 13
    72
    64

    Keith Partridge

    The Partridge Family
  • 14
    60
    58

    Bridget Hennessy

    8 Simple Rules
  • 15
    56
    29
    Tom Islava added

    Nani Pelekai

  • 16
    77
    88
    The Cosby Show
  • 17
    61
    59
    SlashLover added

    Prue Halliwell

  • 18
    76
    79

    Robb Stark

    Game of Thrones
  • 19
    60
    81

    J.J. Evans

    Good Times
  • 20
    38
    30
    crystalbratcher5 added

    Luke Duke

    The Dukes of Hazzard
  • 21
    38
    32
    crystalbratcher5 addedThe Dukes, The Dukes of Hazzard
  • 22
    47
    60
    Home Improvement
  • 23
    47
    64

    Willis Jackson

    Diff'rent Strokes
  • 24
    33
    43
    Tom Islava added

    Kyle Broflovski

    South Park
  • 25
    60
    68

    Matt Camden

    7th Heaven